• June 21, 2024

Ex-WHO Official Calls for Inquiry Into UN Body

 Ex-WHO Official Calls for Inquiry Into UN Body
Photo: Alexey Novikov

Robert Beaglehole, former director of the Department of Chronic Diseases and Health Promotion at the World Health Organization, has called for an independent inquiry into the global health body’s leadership’s reluctance to explore all option for reducing the health toll of smoking, according to an article written by Martin Cullip, international fellow of the Taxpayer Protection Alliance’s Consumer Center.  

Speaking during the recent E-Cigarette Summit in London, Beaglehole said the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control failed to achieve success is because of the WHO’s unrealistic drive for nicotine abstinence and a resistance to less harmful products. He also criticized the FCTC’s obsession with youth vaping to the detriment of making alternatives available for adults who smoke.

Beaglehole took issue also with the WHO’s reliance on funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, which he sees as driving the WHO in the wrong direction due to Michael Bloomberg’s personal prohibitionist ideology towards vaping and nicotine use.

The professor noted that wherever the WHO’s had implemented its MPOWER initiative, smoking rates have either risen or declined very slowly, while in countries that have embraced harm reduction, smoking prevalence has declined, often quite dramatically.

Beaglehole said the WHO should lead, not obstruct, harm reduction strategies, noting that the WHO promotes harm reduction in realms such as illicit drug use and HIV/AIDS. Countries, he added, should be encouraged to adopt targets according to science-based recommendations, rather than ideology

He said parties to the treaty should take advantage of the upcoming director-general election in May 2022 to question incumbent Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus about his organization’s approach to tobacco control.